Why is Folic Acid important?

Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that we can get from our food (called folates) or from supplements or foods that have it added to them (folic acid). Folate also helps our tissues to grow and the cells in our bodies work. It has many functions including helping to form red blood cells and helping to break down, use and create new proteins. It is also essential for the production of DNA, the building block of our bodies and which carries our genetic information. It is especially important in unborn babies because it helps the nervous system develop.  In the very first weeks of pregnancy, the neural tube closes and fuses.  The neural tube later becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Why should I take Folic Acid?

Folate (Folic Acid) cannot be stored in the body, so we need it in our diets every day to maintain enough quantities in your body. This is because folic acid is water-soluble (dissolves in water) and leftover amounts leave the body through the urine. So if you do not take folic acid tablets for even a few weeks, the amount in your blood can become very low.

Ideally, you should start taking a folic acid supplement about two months before conception and continue taking it until you’ve reached the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is why doctors recommend that all women of child-bearing age take folic acid supplements daily to prepare for pregnancies, both planned and unplanned. You will also find folic acid in your daily diet and foods rich in folate include orange juice, cereals, spinach, broccoli, peas, lentils, melon and asparagus. It is rare that women eat enough of these foods every day to reach the recommended amounts, so a supplement is advised.

How much Folic Acid should I take?

All adults need 200 micrograms per day and we can get this from eating a healthy, balanced diet. Women and teenagers who might become pregnant within the next year need 400 micrograms of folic acid as a supplement every day, as well as eating a healthy diet. Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day for at least 3 months before you get pregnant and continue to do so for the first 3 months of your pregnancy. It helps reduce the risk of serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (or NTDs)

What is NTDs?

Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) happen when part of the unborn baby’s brain or spine doesn’t develop properly. Spina bifida is the most common NTD and literally means “split spine”. The spinal cord and surrounding bones (vertebrae) do not develop correctly and a gap or split occurs in the spine. The spinal cord may also be damaged. Taking folic acid daily as a supplement could potentially prevent up to two thirds of neural tube defects every year. 70% of cases of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, could be prevented by taking a daily folic acid supplement in the correct dosage, at the correct time. In some cases there are other reasons why NTDs occur, but taking folic acid can help to prevent most NTDs.

Where can I get Folic Acid?

Folic acid tablets are available in all Haven Pharmacy stores nationwide, this vitamin doesn’t require a prescription and doesn’t cost more than a couple of cents a day. You can buy a single folic acid supplement or many multivitamin formulas for women also contain 400mcg of folic acid but to be sure always check the labels – some multivitamin supplements also provide Vitamin A, which is not recommended during pregnancy.

For more information contact your local Haven Pharmacy for advice.

Covid-19: First Aid in the Home

With everyone staying at home these days including Grandparents ‘cocooning’, Mum or Dad working from home, Children being home schooled & Toddlers out of crèche,  it is advisable to keep a First Aid Kit in a convenient location at home, easy to access when dealing with minor injuries.

Here’s a list of the recommended first aid supplies that you should have in your first aid kit:

Plasters – variety of sizes for minor cuts, blisters and sore spots.

Adhesive Tape – to hold dressings in place.

Bandages – crepe bandages are useful for support or holding a dressing in place. Tubular bandages are helpful when a child has strained a joint and needs extra support. You can also buy triangular bandages that you can use for making a sling.

Sterile Gauze Dressings – for covering larger sore areas and cuts.

Antiseptic Cream – can be applied to cuts or grazes after cleaning. This will help prevent infection and some numb the pain.

First Aid Spray – rinse free, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, kind to skin it’s suitable for cuts and scrapes, burns and scalds as well as eye irritations.

Burn Gels –  should only be used if you are not near cool running water. The best first aid treatment for burns is placing it under cool running water for 20 minutes.

Antiseptic Wipes – handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound. Work gently away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Absorbent Pads – lightly apply pressure to a wound that is bleeding. Do this until the bleeding stops. Make sure there is no object stuck in the wound first.

Thermometer – digital or electronic thermometer. These are quick and accurate. You can also use them under the armpit. Always place the thermometer under the armpit for children under 5.

Saline Solution – washing dust or loose particles out of sore eyes.

Small Scissors – for cutting clothes and also plasters & tape to size.

Safety Pins – these are used to secure an arm sling in place around the elbow area.

Tweezers – use tweezers to remove stones, thorns, splinters and ticks. Never use tweezers to remove objects from nose, mouth or ears – seek medical attention.

Hand Sanitiser – wash your hands before and after you give first aid, but if you do not have access to water, hand sanitiser is a good option.

Disposable Gloves – protect you from infection when giving first aid.

The above list provides a general guide on the recommended contents for first aid kits in the home. All supplies or similar are available in your local Haven Pharmacy, so please ask one of our expert staff for advice on what you need.

Useful Tips:
1. It’s a good idea to keep the supplies sorted in separate zip-close bags to save time rummaging for what you need in an emergency.
2. Never store medication in your first aid kit because a young child might take medication from it, this could easily happen while you are attending to another child who is injured.
3. Put a list of emergency phone numbers into the kit: 112 and 999, your home’s Eircode, your nearest hospital emergency department, your GP & your local GP ‘Out of Hours’ service and your local Haven Pharmacy number.
4. Keep your first aid kit up to date, check use-by dates and always replace used items.
5. Remember, if someone else is caring for your children, let them know where you keep the kit.
6. Your first aid box should be easy to carry and stored out of the reach of young children.

Those most at risk from a home accident are the 0-4 years age group, boys are more likely to have accidents than girls and generally most accidents in the home occur during the summer, during school holidays and at weekends – however the risk is much higher now as everyone stays at home.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay Safe in the Home.

Covid-19: Pollen or Pandemic?

Perhaps you’ve developed a cough or you’ve noticed some shortness of breath. While it could be any number of things, it’s not unusual to link your symptoms to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With so much discussion about the virus and its symptoms, it’s understandable you might start worrying you’ve picked it up.

The main warning signs of COVID-19 the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are fever, fatigue and a cough. Here is a quick guide differentiating the symptoms between Hay Fever and Covid-19:

If you usually get seasonal allergies and your symptoms are all present on the green column of the list above, the most likely explanation is that you’re experiencing seasonal allergies. People sometimes call allergies “Hay Fever,” but they don’t actually give you a fever.

Examples of common seasonal allergens are:
• Grass and tree pollen
• Dust and mould allergies
• Insect bites and stings

Tips for allergy sufferers:
• Talk to doctor or pharmacist about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms.
• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Please speak to one of our trained advisers or ask your Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

If you’re still unsure, ask yourself these questions:

What are your initial symptoms?

Runny nose and itchy eyes? Allergies. Aching muscles? It could be the flu. As for COVID-19, expect symptoms similar to the flu, but with fever coming on strong (and possible shortness of breath in advanced cases). It’s important to remember that coronavirus can present with mild symptoms—in fact, up to 80% of cases are considered mild—so be sure to monitor how you’re feeling carefully.

When did your symptoms start?

Seasonal allergies last over a series of days or a week, since allergens are increasing every day, with trees budding and pollen spreading. The flu, however, tends to come on suddenly, and norovirus is even faster. There’s still much to learn about COVID-19, but current reports suggest that it begins slower than the flu—typically with a fever first followed by the symptoms mentioned above between two and 14 days after exposure.

Are symptoms getting progressively worse?

You should hit a plateau with allergies, although that can drag on for months. With a flu or COVID-19, you’re looking at around a week to 10 days with a milder case. But if your symptoms are worsening, you may be headed for pneumonia with either the flu or coronavirus. If your breathing starts to feel labored or you have a high fever that persists for days or doesn’t respond to OTC medication, seek medical attention.

Have you been traveling?

If you think you have COVID-19, you’re likely to be asked if you or someone you have direct contact with has been traveling—especially to hot spots where the virus is prevalent.

For more information visit www.hse.ie or phone 1850 24 1850

Covid-19: Support Your Immune System

During the ongoing Covid-19, it is vital to support your immune system as we become accustomed to self isolation.

Here are some self help tips to help you stay as healthy as  you can in your new routine:

Eat a Balanced Healthy Diet: 
– Eat more vegetables, salad and fruit – up to seven servings a day
– Limit intake of high fat, sugar and salt in food and drinks
– Size matters: use the Food Pyramid as a guide for serving sizes
– Increase your physical activity levels, small changes can make a big difference

Improve Your Physical Wellbeing:
– Children and young people (2-18): all children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day
– Adults (18-69): at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on five days a week or 150 minutes a week
– Children and adults with a disability should aim to be as active as their disability allows, and aim to meet the guideline for their age group if possible
– Adults aged 70+ are strongly advised to rigorously follow cocooning measures in order to keep themselves safe.

Look after your Mental Health:
Going for a walk or run can help get rid of pent-up energy and can leave you feeling much calmer.
– Make contact with out with family or friends by email, phone or video-calling.
– Taking some deep breaths and try meditation — deep breathing can help to relax the body.
– Trying to avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine, especially in the evenings.

Maintain a good Sleep Routine:
– Getting some good sleep, as a lack of sleep can affect your general well-being.
– Keeping your usual sleep routine is vital, get up at the usual time and retire to bed when you feel tired.
– Limit the amount of caffeine in the evenings as stimulants will keep you awake and disrupt your pattern.
– While we sleep, our bodies use this time to rest and repair so good sleep hygiene is vital to strengthen your body’s immune response

Hopefully these tips help you to support your immune system, remember there is no right or wrong as we take each day as it comes, you can only try the best you can in the circumstances…

We are all in this together. Stay safe and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Covid-19: Minding Your Mental Health

Now more than ever, it is so important to look after our physical and mental health in any way we can.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. This can really affect your mental health, but there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this.

How your mental health might be affected

The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to contain the virus.

Most people’s lives will change in some way over a period of days, weeks or months. But in time, it will pass.

You may notice some of the following:

  • increased anxiety
  • feeling stressed
  • finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
  • becoming irritable more easily
  • feeling insecure or unsettled
  • fearing that normal aches and pains might be the virus
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling helpless or a lack of control
  • having irrational thoughts

If you are taking any prescription medications, make sure you have enough.

How to mind your mental health during this time

Keeping a realistic perspective of the situation based on facts is important. Here are some ways you can do this.

Stay informed but set limits for news and social media

The constant stream of social media updates and news reports about coronavirus could cause you to feel worried. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate facts from rumours. Use trustworthy and reliable sources to get your news.

Read up-to-date, factual information on coronavirus in Ireland here.

On social media, people may talk about their own worries or beliefs. You don’t need to make them your own. Too much time on social media may increase your worry and levels of anxiety. Consider limiting how much time you spend on social media.

If you find the coverage on coronavirus is too intense for you, talk it through with someone close or get support.

Keep up your healthy routines

Your routine may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak in different ways. But during difficult times like this, it’s best if you can keep some structure in your day.

It’s important to pay attention to your needs and feelings, especially during times of stress. You may still be able to do some of the things you enjoy and find relaxing.

For example, you could try to:

Stay connected to others

During times of stress, friends and families can be a good source of support. It is important to keep in touch with them and other people in your life.

If you need to restrict your movements or self-isolate, try to stay connected to people in other ways, for example:

  • e-mail
  • social media
  • video calls
  • phone calls
  • text messages

Many video calling apps allow you to have video calls with multiple people at the same time.

Remember that talking things through with someone can help lessen worry or anxiety. You don’t have to appear to be strong or to try to cope with things by yourself.

Talking to children and young people

Involving your children in your plans to manage this situation is important. Try to consider how they might be feeling.

Give children and young people the time and space to talk about the outbreak. Share the facts with them in a way that suits their age and temperament, without causing alarm.

Talk to your children about coronavirus but try to limit their exposure to news and social media. This is especially important for older children who may be spending more time online now. It may be causing anxiety.

Try to anticipate distress and support each other

It is understandable to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed reading or hearing news about the outbreak.

Acknowledge these feelings. Remind yourself and others to look after your physical and mental health. If you smoke or drink, try to avoid doing this any more than usual. It won’t help in the long-term.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t judge people or make assumptions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The coronavirus can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. We are all in this together.

Online and phone supports

Face-to-face services are limited at the moment. But some services are providing online and phone services.

There are also many dedicated online services that can help.

Use the HSE’s mental health services finder to find support. Check all the services websites to see what online and phone supports are available.

OCD and coronavirus

If you have OCD, you may develop an intense fear of:

  • catching coronavirus
  • causing harm to others
  • things not being in order

Fear of being infected by the virus may mean you become obsessed with:

  • hand hygiene
  • cleanliness
  • avoiding certain situations, such as using public transport

Washing your hands

The compulsion to wash your hands or clean may get stronger. If you have recovered from this type of compulsion in the past, it may return.

Follow the advice to wash your hands properly and often, but you do not need to do more than recommended.

Things you can do to help:


Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?

Click here for a full list of mental health supports and services during Covid-19


Source: HSE.ie

Covid-19: Benefits of Walking

We understand that the recent advice from the Government can be confusing. On one hand, we’ve been told to stay home as much as possible. On the other hand, we’ve also been told that it’s important to keep exercising – and that a walk, run or cycle within 2km of our homes is okay. Many of you have been going for a walk to get out of the house for some fresh air, but it’s actually more important than we realise.

Click on the infographic below to see the 20 benefits of walking:

Being physically active is probably the single most important thing that we can do for maintaining or improving our physical and mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19. Physical activity which includes an active lifestyle and routine exercise, like walking, plus eating sensibly is the best way to stay healthy and support your immune system.

Walking is the best form of exercise as it can be tailored to most fitness levels and health needs – and it’s absolutely FREE! All you need is comfortable footwear, appropriate clothing for the weather and you are good to go!

Here are 5 tips to help you get started and stay on track:
1. Go for a stroll after lunch or dinner each day instead of watching television – make this a habit like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins
2. Give yourself an aim like walk to the shop to get milk or post a letter – it helps to have a reason to get to your destination
3. Change your route and explore different paths every day – that way it won’t seem so monotonous and you will gain more appreciation of your the surroundings on your doorstep
4. Take the stairs instead of the lift or go the longer route instead of your normal routine – get those steps up each day
5. Keep track of your progress by using a calendar or a fitness tracker – you will soon see improvements in your timing and want to increase your steps even more!

So how much exercise should we be getting?

Children and Young People (2-18)
All children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day. Include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises 3 times a week. So children and teenagers should be outside in the garden as much as possible… which gives Mum & Dad some space too!

Adults (18-69)
At least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week). Go for a walk, run, cycle or take the dog out for a walk – remembering to keep 2 metres (6ft) away from anyone from outside your household. Parents are allowed to include children in their exercise.

Older People (70+)
The Irish Government are strongly advising people over 70 years of age and those with serious underlying medical conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to rigorously follow cocooning measures in order to keep themselves safe.

Under new restrictions, people not ‘cocooning’ can leave their homes for a walk/run within a 2km limit from home.

2kmfromhome.com lets you select your exact location and offers a clear visualisation of where you can go within 2km from your home.

Covid-19: Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.

Symptoms of coronavirus

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:

If you have these symptoms and have been to a place where there is spread of coronavirus, read this advice.

When you may need to call a doctor:

For most people who have these symptoms now, it is more likely to be an infection that is not coronavirus.

You only need to phone a doctor if you have symptoms and any of the following apply to you:

  • they are the type of symptoms you would usually contact a GP about
  • you have travelled from an affected area
  • you are a close contact of a confirmed case in Ireland – if you are, the Department of Public Health will contact you

Close contact:

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should:

  • isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone
  • phone their GP, or emergency department
  • in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

When you may need to be tested for coronavirus

You will need to be tested for coronavirus if you have symptoms and have in the last 14 days been:

Your doctor may also suggest you are tested for coronavirus if you have a severe lung infection.

If your doctor thinks that you need a test for coronavirus, they will tell you where the test will be done. They will also tell you when to expect your results.

Read this advice if you’ve been to a place with spread of coronavirus.

Risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland

There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ireland.

The risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low to moderate. This may change. However, most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual.

Follow the advice on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, a public health doctor will tell you this.

How coronavirus is spread

Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets.

You could get the virus if you:

  • come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
  • touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on

As it’s a new illness, we do not know how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Spread is most likely from those who have symptoms.

The virus may only survive a few hours if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

Packages from affected countries

You cannot get coronavirus from packages or food that has come from China or elsewhere.

There is no evidence that animals or animal products legally imported into the EU are a health risk due to coronavirus.

Children and coronavirus

Follow this advice if your child has recently travelled to a place with a spread of coronavirus.

Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and properly.

Read more advice on how to prevent your child from catching or spreading viral infections.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. But many of the symptoms of the virus can be treated.

Supportive treatments, like oxygen therapy, can be given while your own body fights the virus. Life support can be used in extreme cases.

If you get the virus, your healthcare professional will advise treatment based on your symptoms.

Antibiotics do not work against coronavirus or any viruses. They only work against bacterial infections.


There is currently no vaccine to treat or protect against coronavirus.

The flu vaccine does not protect against coronavirus.

At-risk groups and coronavirus

We do not know for sure which groups are most at risk of complications if they catch coronavirus.

But it is likely you are more at risk if you catch coronavirus and:

  • are 60 years of age and over
  • have a long-term medical condition – for example, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer
  • pregnant women

You should follow the advice on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus and other infections like flu.

Pets and coronavirus

There is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs can catch or spread coronavirus.

Avoid all non-essential travel to China and Northern Italy

Follow the up-to-date travel information from the Department of Foreign Affairs for travel advice on countries and regions affected by coronavirus.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised people to avoid all non-essential travel to China and Northern Italy.

There is a high risk of getting coronavirus if you travel to a place where there is spread of the virus.

More information

COVID-19 updates – how the health service is responding to the global spread of coronavirus

Department of Foreign Affairs – updated travel information and advice

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre – information for health professionals

WHO – Advice for Public


10 Tips to Quit Smoking


We understand that quitting smoking is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. These tips will help keep you motivated and on track…


Tip 1: Plan your quit.

Quitting smoking isn’t an easy task. Call in to your local Haven Pharmacist to create a new plan that works for you to help you reach your goal.

Choose a date to quit smoking and stick with it. It’s a great way to mentally prepare to stop smoking.

Think about whether you want to quit completely or gradually and find the product(s) that are right for you.

Tip 2: Remember why you decided to quit.

Make a list of all the reasons why you want to stop smoking and put it somewhere you’ll see it. When you feel like you want to give up, remind yourself of why you are doing this and keep going!

Tip 3: Use the money you save on cigarettes to treat yourself.

The average smoker spends around €6.20 a day on cigarettes, which is a whopping €186 a month*. Calculate how much you could save! Make sure you actually see the money you save. Set up a special account or just start a ‘quitting jar’, to store the saved cash. Then for the fun part – deciding how to spend it.
*Based on a pack of 20 cigarettes costing €11.30 and the average number of 11 cigarettes a day

Tip 4: Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).

When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may make you feel irritable, anxious or down. NICORETTE® can help tackle these withdrawal symptoms so you can carry on with your day! Find the right product(s) for you.

Tip 5: Quit with a friend.

Grab a friend who also wants to quit. That way, you can keep each other motivated and you’ll know you’re not in it alone.

Tip 6: Identify what makes you crave a cigarette.

Strengthen your willpower by limiting or skipping triggers you commonly associate with smoking. Learn how to identify your triggers and get tips for conquering your cravings.

Tip 7: Keep busy to resist the urge to smoke.

Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, resist it by keeping busy. Cravings usually last 5-10 minutes so make a list of things to do in this time. For example, walk around the block, call a friend, tidy your desk or catch up on the news.

Tip 8: Work out the stress.

Physical activity is a great way of dealing with the stress of quitting. Walk, run, swim, or take up a new activity. Your lung capacity improves by as much as 10% nine months after you quit so you’ll be able to do more.

Tip 9: Lean on your loved ones.

Tell your friends and family that you’re trying to quit. They know what an incredible thing you are doing and will support you along the way! When you are struggling to keep it going, lean on them for encouragement!

Tip 10: Think positive.

At times you may want to pack it all in and have another cigarette. When this happens, take a moment to think of all the positives that come with being smoke-free. You could have more energy, better sense of taste and smell, healthier looking skin, whiter teeth and many more health benefits.


Benefits of Flossing your Teeth

You might be interested in the variety of at-home tooth-bleaching products that are available if you think your pearly whites have become off-white. But remember that no teeth whitening product replaces twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing as a consistent dental care routine.

Stains can adhere to both plaque and tartar build-up. Regular use of dental floss removes plaque, helping to prevent the build-up of plaque, which can lead to tartar.

Need another reason to floss? Simply flossing your teeth can make them look whiter by removing plaque and excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that your toothbrush doesn’t reach.

Try re-committing to daily flossing and twice-daily tooth brushing with a whitening toothpaste, which can improve the appearance of stained teeth.

Make flossing your teeth a regular, daily part of your dental care routine, and you may be more likely to keep your teeth and less likely to need dentures later in life.


The importance of daily flossing

Daily flossing is an important component of plaque removal and keeping your mouth healthy, but it’s one that many people avoid because they find flossing painful. The right flossing products can make flossing easy and painless.

Regular interdental cleaning with floss or interdental brushes removes plaque, thereby removing the bacteria in plaque from your mouth.

Many people think that standard dental floss is the only effective product for tooth flossing. But there are many products to meet the needs of people of all ages with any type of dental condition. If one of these conditions applies to you, consider some specialised flossing options:

  • You have braces: If you wear braces or have dentures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t floss. Try a specialised floss that has a stiff end that you can thread beneath the main wire of your braces and a spongy component that slides easily between the teeth
  • You have a child: It’s important to teach children the benefits of flossing at a young age. You can start teaching children to floss their teeth at about age 5-7 years, but many children are less than enthusiastic, and they may complain that flossing hurts or is difficult.


How flossing can whiten your teeth

Whitening floss is one of the many options now available to you when choosing a dental floss.

This is because floss brands are looking to capitalize on the increasing popularity of tooth-whitening products, which also include whitening toothpastes and whitening mouthwash.

Some types of whitening floss are coated with microscopic abrasive silica particles. Others are treated with compounds such as calcium peroxide that can help dissolve some of the excess proteins that saliva deposits on the teeth that can cause discoloration.

But the main way that floss improves the appearance of the teeth is by removing food particles and bacterial plaque instead of bleaching teeth, to keep your gums healthy. Your teeth will look brighter and healthier if you maintain healthy gums, which you can do by flossing daily with whitening floss or any other type of floss that you like.

Keep in mind that whitening floss, whitening mouthwash, and whitening toothpaste can only provide modest changes in tooth colour. If you have severely stained teeth, tooth-coloured crowns, or implants, you may require special attention to make them whiter. In that case, talk to your dentist.


How flossing daily fights bad breath and boosts self-esteem

It’s best to face life with confidence. So if you suffer from chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis), you have one more reason to floss your teeth daily. Flossing in particular can play a key role in preventing bad breath because flossing, when done correctly, helps to remove the small particles of food that get stuck between your teeth and around your gums—those tricky places where some toothbrushes can’t quite reach.

When food particles aren’t removed, they start to collect bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Of course some foods, such as garlic, cause bad breath that may persist until your body has processed that spicy meal.

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath, so be sure to brush and floss daily and schedule regular dental check-ups. If bad breath persists despite good oral care, ask your dentist and doctor—in some cases persistent bad breath may indicate a serious medical condition such as bronchitis, diabetes or liver problems.

Flossing for good health

Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth healthy—practising good oral hygiene contributes to your health in other ways, too.

In addition, flossing gives you the opportunity to regularly examine your mouth for any swelling or redness at your tongue, and gums. Certain conditions including some cancers, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and eating disorders can cause lesions in your mouth and redness and swelling of the gums.

Even if you were inconsistent about interdental cleaning during your childhood or teen years, it’s never too late to start or maintain good oral hygiene, and you can improve the health of your gums with the right floss product. Specialised floss products are designed to be soft and comfortable for sensitive gums but strong enough to remove plaque build-up from around the teeth.

While periodontal disease is not the primary cause for pulpal death, chronically unhealthy gums can increase your risk of losing your teeth or needing a root canal. And even though twice-daily tooth brushing is essential for good oral hygiene, brushing alone may not protect you from gum disease and the tooth loss that can result.


Save 33% on Oral B Floss and Satin Tape in your local Haven Pharmacy until 5th March 2020 

Offer available while stocks last




10 Steps to a Great Skincare Routine

Your skin is one of the largest organs your body has, it works hard every day to protect your body from harmful elements, pollution and environmental damage. Taking good care of your skin and developing a daily skin care routine is so important because it can help your skin do its job at its best and for longer.

In our teens and twenties, we’re blessed with youthful skin that recovers quickly from pretty much anything including all night parties, takeaways, sun damage, wipes and sleeping with make-up on. The first signs of aging usually begins in our 30s when we start to notice fine lines and wrinkles, then as we reach our 40’s we may find our skin is not quite as taut as it used to be, due to lack of collagen the skin begins to sag or drop. It’s never too late to start a skincare routine, but the earlier you start the better! And it doesn’t have to cost the earth either – these small, simple steps will help you give your skin all the help it needs to age beautifully…

1. Get lots of sleep
– It’s called ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason! At night, cell regeneration is faster as it’s busy repairing damage and rebuilding cells. After a good night’s sleep you will notice your skin looks more revived and brighter.

2. Drink plenty of water
– Drink at least 2 litres of water each day to keep your cells hydrated and flush out toxins that can build up making the skin looking dull and tired. Hydration is the key to plump, healthy, clear skin!

3. Eat Fruit, Vegetables and Nuts
– Eat your vitamins! Foods rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Selenium and Omega 3 are a great way of improving the health of your skin and the appearance of your complexion. Optimize your nutrition by eating antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables and healthy fats from oily fish and nuts.

4. Exfoliate once or twice a week
– Exfoliating your skin is important to remove the dead skin cells, revealing softer, smoother skin. You can use an exfoliating facial scrub or an exfoliating face mask depending on how sensitive your skin is.

5. Use a moisturiser daily
– Wear a moisturiser that suits your skin type, ensure it contains an SPF and apply it to a clean, damp face so that your skins absorbs all that goodness ensuring protection all day long. Tinted moisturisers are a good replacement for heavy foundations & drying powders

6. Double cleanse in the evenings
– Single cleanse isn’t strong enough to remove all the grime from your skin, so use an oil-based cleanser to remove oils from your skin and then your second cleanse will deep clean your pores. It will take a couple of extra minutes but your future self will be thankful.

7. Wear a night moisturiser
– Skin cells are at their most productive when we sleep, so they are quite receptive to moisturising ingredients. A good night cream can boost radiance, revive dull & tired skin, reduce the look of visible fine lines, increase moisture and tone the skin – that’s a lot of work all while you are asleep!

8. Invest in quality skin care products
– Instead of spending your heard earned money on expensive facials, why not treat yourself to a really good quality moisturiser or cleanser. It will last longer and is better for your skin in the long run rather than a one-off treatment.

9. Try out different face masks
– A great pick-me-up for dull complexions needing some extra TLC. Look for ingredients such as Tea Tree, Seaweed, Charcoal and Ginseng which contain properties that can detoxify, cleanse or hydrate the skin leaving it radiant & luminous.

10. Ditch the wipes!
– As much as we would all like to take the day off in one easy step, facial wipes are extremely bad for your skin and even worse for the environment. Use a face cloth, muslin cloth or cleansing mitt with your skincare products and bin the wipes for good!

And finally, this one goes without saying – wear a broad spectrum SPF every single day. Check out our recent blog on this topic and why it’s so important.

At Haven Pharmacy we take pride in knowing that we only sell the best skincare products from trusted brands such as La Roche Posay, Vichy, Clarins, Dr. Hauschka, NeoStrata and so many more*.

Ask our expert staff for advice on what skin care products suit your skin and your budget.

Haven, you’re in expert hands!

*skincare brands vary in each store